By Jean Cole
Before the end of the year, the city of Athens will pave the east and west approaches to the Interstate 65 bridge on Forrest Street.
City Council members gave Mayor Ronnie Marks permission to issue a work order for the project during their meeting Tuesday.
Keenum Contracting Co. will do the paving at a cost of about $30,000, which will be paid from the gasoline-tax fund.
Public Works Director James Rich, who asked the council to approve the project, said work would likely begin in the next two weeks.
In other business Tuesday, council members approved $3,936,500 in spending that was mandated by law or ordinance. That amount includes $3.43 million to the Athens City Schools Board of Education, $380,000 to Athens Utilities for street lighting, $66,500 to Animal Control – Dr. Robert Pitman for animal control services, $30,000 to Pryor Field Airport Authority, $18,000 to the Limestone County Commission for the Emergency Management Agency, and $9,000 for incentive property tax.
Council members also took the following action:
• Approved the day after Thanksgiving — Friday, Nov. 23 — as an additional holiday for employees for 2012;
• Approved travel expenses of $315 for Gas Department employee Steve Carter and $321 for Water Department employee John Stockton, both with Athens Utilities;
• Agreed to declare as surplus a vehicle at the Athens Police Department;
• Agreed to hire Morrell Engineering to perform construction, engineering and inspection services for Lucas Ferry and Sanderfer roads. The work wills cost 5 percent of the construction cost or $44,000. The 80-20 match with the state will be paid with gasoline-tax money.